Security cannot be solved by software alone, warned Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini in a conference call discussing the firm's $7.7bn acquisition of security firm McAfee.
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He said, "In the 1990s, when we added capabilities to our platform so users could connect to the internet, PC demand exploded. But the increased use of the internet is leading to an increased level of security threats. The number of security threats is increasing and security will be most effective when embedded in hardware."
Otellini said the McAfee acquisition builds on Intel's transition strategy to move from being a chipmaker to a PC company.
Renée James, senior vice-president and general manager of Intel's Software and Services Group, said, "Our platform already guards against hacking today, and can disable a computer if it is stolen." But she warned, "The threats and opportunity [in security] are too large to tackle alone. We have to use software to grow our hardware business."
James said the most pressing problems would require both hardware and software security. Intel's aim is to give users the confidence that their PC or smartphone is securely connected to the world.
James said the first fruits of the McAfee partnership would be released in the first half of 2011.
Regarding McAfee's future within Intel, she said, "McAfee will maintain all its product lines across multiple platforms."